The greater part of what we might truly want to do is obliterated well before its conceivable birth by a tirelessly measurable and masochistic feeling of our own ineptitude. We can’t in any way, shape or form welcome individuals to supper at home since we’re not so much extraordinary cooks; we can’t show anybody the sonnet we’ve composed in light of the fact that it’s not exactly right yet; we won’t peel off and jump into the ocean on the grounds that our body’s not fit as a fiddle. We might such a great amount of want to cherish, live, be free, be bonafide, however…
Not many exercises fit all the more flawlessly into this classification of a throttled desire than singing. How profoundly we might want to give it a go, yet how well we know our foolishness. We’re hesitant even to attempt to string a couple of notes together in isolation. We could be strolling in a desert and still not hesitate to accomplish more than a murmur, so profoundly have we disguised our stress over judgment.
This is a specific pity since singing is among the most essential types of articulation at which nobody would ever – in any earlier manner – be terrible. Our remote predecessors presumably sang before they could talk; and as infants, we as a whole likely reacted to a children’s song well before we could grasp the genuine words.
More or less all societies except our own have made collective singing a central ritual of communal existence. Nowadays, even the remaining fragments of opportunity – in a church or on the football terraces – are often inaccessible; some part of us might long to join in and merge our own weak and out of tune voice with the crowd, but these occasions can feel like they belong to others whose outlook and convictions we don’t directly share.
The words are distributed, someone takes us quickly through the tune, so we’ve all got at least the minimum basics. Then the lights are lowered a bit – to create a sense of occasion; there’s an awesome amplifier to power things on, the music comes on, just an introductory bit of melody and then we’re given the signal to start. Of course, we lose the timing of the words; we put the stress sometimes on the wrong point; our breathing is all wrong; but we’re doing it. We’re soaring. We’re aware, as we sing, that others are saying – believing – the same things: they, like us, are breaking through the barrier of embarrassment and awkwardness to join with us in creating this superlative collective moment.
And at this moment, singing isn’t just about singing. We’re encountering a fundamental idea: that we don’t need to be good at something, anything for us to join in. That we belong here anyway. That we deserve to exist. Other people, they’re not judging us harshly most of the time; they’re wishing that they, themselves, could take the step we’re taking and – in fact – they are finding some of the encouragement they need precisely in our own inept, gloriously out of key but utterly genuine and beautiful efforts.